After takeover of Thiruvananthapuram airport, Kozhikode next in line

Govt can now stall Adani takeover only by not signing state support agreement; it’s not clear AEL will honour reported pact to share stakes

Published: 19th December 2019 06:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th December 2019 06:30 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the Kerala High Court dismissing a batch of petitions filed against the privatisation of Trivandrum airport, including that of the state government, the decks are now cleared for the takeover of the airport by the winning concessionaire Adani Enterprises Limited (AEL). Though Adani had won the bid for the six airports in the country, the Letter of Awards (LoAs) for the Trivandrum, Guwahati and Jaipur airports were not issued as state governments concerned and Airport Authority of India (AAI) employee unions challenged the decision.

The petition challenging privatisation of Guwahati airport has been postponed to January 22 for further hearing, while there is no petition filed regarding Jaipur airport but the state government has been maintaining that it will not cooperate with the move. Once the Guwahati airport case is settled, there would not be any major hurdle for the Adani group for the takeover of remaining airports.

In addition, though Calicut airport has not figured in the next set of six airports -- Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Varanasi, Indore, Raipur and Tiruchi airports -- to be privatised, sources close to AAI said it would also be privatised along with Madurai and Coimbatore airports. It is also learnt that though the Centre has awarded LoAs of Mangalore, Ahmedabad and Lucknow airports, the winning concessionaire has been delaying the takeover as part of buying time for preparing itself for the running of the airports. After the LoAs are awarded, the concessionaire has to seek security clearance. Once the clearance is granted, the concessionaire has to take over the control of the airports in 45 days. 

Earlier, there were reports that the Kerala government and concessionaire have reached an agreement for sharing the stakes in the Trivandrum airport. In the new circumstances, it remains to be seen whether Adani would honour the understanding, if there was any. Still, the government has one final straw to clutch.

If it announces that it would not sign the state support agreement with the private entity, it would be difficult for the winning concessionaire to take over the airport as the agreement ensures the logistics required for the airport operations like water and electricity supply, and road connectivity. Meanwhile, S Ajith Kumar, secretary of Airport Authority Employees Union, Trivandrum, said the union would challenge the High Court order in the Supreme Court and it would not go back on its fight against privatising the airport. 

Privatisation trail

Letter of Awards for Mangalore, Ahmedabad and Lucknow airports were handed over to AEL. 
Now, the case against Trivandrum airport privatisation has been settled, while the case regarding Guwahati airport is scheduled to be heard on Jan 22. No case in the court against Jaipur airport takeover but the state government opposes the move
Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Varanasi, Indore, Raipur and Tiruchi airport are expected to be privatised after the takeover of the present set of six airports 
It is expected to be followed by the privatisation of Calicut airport along with Madurai and Coimbatore airports
It is learnt that in the next round of privatisation, the AAI is expected to include a clause limiting the number of airports to be taken over by a single entity to two, following criticism


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

  • konic

    Privitize Chandigarh airport too as govt is not able to run it properly.
    10 months ago reply
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp